Monday, December 27, 2004

it's been a while, indeed


The holidays always take so much out of me. this one in particular has been odd. Owing to the lateness of my return home, I haven't been in much of Christmas (nor, indeed, holiday) spirit, and I haven't been sleeping well either, so the holiday has physically felt as though someone has been kicking me.

It's been an odd day here. We've been without power for 7.5 hours throughout the day--a three hour stretch this morning and then another four tonight. Mercifully I was able to escape--first to Barrie, where I purchased the gorgeous, decadent, marvelous The Museum Called Canada, by Charlotte Grey. Aside from glorying at some THSWSNBN-related information--found in Martyrs' Hall--and the Rights Auditorium, the book has made me smile quite a bit.

I also spent some $60 on yarn and such. Quite a lot of it was on sale, which made me happy, and I got more bamboo needles. I made two sock monkeys yesterday (my family's latest thing) and now am busy outfitting them in the best of knitted finery. In the spirit of the sock monkey book, I am contemplating writing stories for Alfred and Alfrieda.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

my marks are in.


And I did reasonably well, I think. Certainly better than I expected. Perhaps that PhD is not so much of a pipe dream as I have been fearing.

Home=where the heart AND the snow are


We currently have about a foot, and counting. It should apparently bring us about another six inches by tomorrow. At least we bypassed the freezing rain. I'd forgotten how much fun shovelling snow off the drive way is. Or rather, isn't--although when the whole family does it, it goes much quicker.

Unfortunately snow+poor driving conditions means no friends today. :( We saw The Series of Unfortunate Events last night, and I must say, Jude Law, you can call me any time.

Off to do a puzzle with my dad, A Hard Day's Night-style

Sunday, December 19, 2004

getting there


Finally done all my marking. I have a meeting with the prof tomorrow, one more exam to mark once I get it from Special Needs, and then I get to enter my marks on the computer, and then I'm really done, but I'll take what I can get for right now.

I got to go out for lunch, dessert, and coffee with the Mathman and his new lady friend. It's good to see old friends, and to hang out with people in my (now mostly clean) apartment. I also finished the pair of mittens I was working on, and if you are interested in my knitting capers, you can go see the end result over at Knot Again. I'm pretty happy with them, all told, although the second one's thumb is really wonky.

My dad's father usually gives us each a sum of cash for Christmas, and this is what I'm thinking about getting myself with it; kicking in a little extra on my own if need be.

Friday, December 17, 2004

questions of science


Finally, finally back in Guelph. It has been an eventful few weeks, but as i stumbled off the bus in Guelph at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday (having caught a 1:00 a.m. bus up north) and made my way to the MacKinnon building to hand in my paper on Ethics and Motherhood in A Yellow Aster, I realized that my first semester of grad school is finally over. A sobering but uplifting thought in a lot of ways, I suppose. I am grateful for the break ahead (though I still have to proctor and mark the final for my TA class finish marking the exam for my TA class), especially as I have received mysterious Christmas cards from the cats telling me that they want me to come home. Who can say 'no to two such enterprising kitties?

I've had a few really nice days as of late. I've spent a fair bit of time in Toronto, particularly in and around Queen West, checking out the Silver Snail, Lush, and various bookstores. I've also returned to the Royal Alex to see Mamma Mia for a second time, and quite enjoyed it. When you can get 8th row Orchestra tickets for $26, there is something very right with the world.

So yesterday was the day of exam proctoring and such, which involved a LOT of walking around the room and glaring at students for two hours...surprisingly not as painful as the other exam I proctored, but then I wasn't trying to frantically write a 12 page paper. Postexam, we had an exam marking party, which was ridiculously productive--I have about 8 exams left to mark, which makes me crazy happy. Thus, I will be able to devote an appropriate amount of time to cleaning my apartment (oh, my poor bathtub) and organizing my affairs (read: wrapping presents), with a visit from everyone's favourite Mathman thrown in to boot.

I think there will be a sizable roast beast, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and miscellaneous vegetable type dinner tonight. Mmmm...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

verb the adjective noun


Still up north. It has been a reasonably uneventful few days, for which I am thankful, although I would have been much happier if my Topics in 19th Century paper would just bloody write itself already, because I am just not in the mood to deal with 3000 words or so today. Especially since there is so little written about New Woman stuff (er, comparatively with the rest of Victoriana, that is) and on my chosen text, A Yellow Aster in particular--it's not even bloody in print anymore. Hey Broadview, if you'd like to take a chance on a rising young scholar with absolutely no credentials and no intention of specializing in the nineteenth century, I would *love* to do an edition of A Yellow Aster for you.

Here's the Dictionary of Australian Biography entry for Iota. (She's the second one down.) Bloody hell--if she wrote 17 books, some of which, it looks, were relevant to the New Woman...and there's nothing academic done on her? Hmm...

Here's the Literary Encyclopedia's entry on the New Woman novelists.

My arm is itchy, and I really don't want to write this paper.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

if it isn't chickens, it's feathers


What a grum couple of days. (Grim+glum=grum.)

And, of course, it bloody never ends.

I'm back up north for the weekend. It's part of the static.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

oh it meant nothing to ya


I've been on a bit of a Pulp kick lately, which is funny because I really don't think I had much to do with them when they were actually making music. There's just something about "Disco 2000" that I really enjoy, I guess. I've also been on a bit of a techno kick lately as well, which is totally weird for me--but I have a friend who is introducing to me to some of the less mundane, not-so-mainstream-club-oriented stuff, and I'm surprisingly enjoying it quite a lot.

I have two papers due this week and no particular ambition to write either of them; as they are due quite soon perhaps I *ought* to pick up some of that ambition.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

RIP, Pierre Berton


Because I forgot to post this yesterday: Rest in Peace, Pierre Berton.

For the non-Canuck readership of this blog (ha ha...oh...) Berton was a popular history writer who was able to make the opacity of Canadian history presentable to the Canadian public. His work will certainly be missed. I think the first Berton that I read was either Vimy (about Canada and WWI) or The Dionne Years (about the Dionne quintuplets, and one of his best). I would have been about eleven or twelve at the time, and I think it is a testament to the man's skill that I would find those books engrossing at that age, and be able to turn to Marching As to War when writing about the Canadian war experience in a history class at university.

Apparently he was a cat lover with approximately 17 cats. (warning: it's a PDF, but it is worth it.)

I think I like what J.L. Granatstein (from the Globe and Mail article linked above)said best of all:

Mr. Berton approached history very differently from most academic historians, Prof. Granatstein said. "He chose good subjects and wrote them up in a way that people wanted to buy them. The academics, by definition, picked obscure subjects and wrote them terribly, and nobody wanted to read them. It was inevitable that there was a clash between the two."

As the decades passed, the academics looked much more favourably on Mr. Berton's work as a popular historian. "Without Pierre Berton there would scarcely be any Canadian history left," Prof. Granatstein said. "For the last 40 years he has popularized Canadian history in a way that nobody else was doing."

get a haircut and get a real job


I have a new job! I finished TAing ENGL1200 today, and got my letter of appointment to ENGL2080, which is fantastic as it is a "real" English course. (Real pretending to mean one that is based in literature; where my seminar segment is one that will be based on the texts that we are reading rather than grammar.)

And check out the booklist:
Aiken, George. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (in course package)
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. (Broadview P) *
Behn, Aphra. The Rover. (Broadview P) *
Glaspell, Susan. “Trifles” (in course pack)
Hansberry, Lorraine. Raisin in the Sun. (Spark Publishing)
James, Henry. Turn of the Screw. (Dover)
Joyce, James. “The Dead” (in course pack)
Milton, John. Selected poems (in course pack) *
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Purloined Letter” (in course pack) *
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. (Broadview P) *


One of my favourite things about TAing is the free books. And after all the raving I've done lately about the prettiness of Broadview's books over at Tinka's, it's pretty exciting to know that soon I will have almost a full shelf of them. The * are to indicate stuff that I've already read, or in the case of The Rover, stuff I should have already read...damn Studies in 18th Century and Restoration...I'm excited about the Woolf, as well, I was trying to explain it to a friend the other day (specifically the Shakespeare's sister segment) and it'll be good to go over the text again.

Which reminds me, if any of you haven't seen Eileen Atkins's turn as Woolf in A Room of One's Own, you really should. Then watch The Hours to see her cameo as a flower shop owner. Such a lovely moment.

And I am, at last, all Christmas shopped out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

shiny, shiny, shiny


Though she is unlikely to write about in on her own blow, The Squidge has just finished a paper for her Gender, Literature, and Culture I course called "Look, That's Shiny" which links Rosetti's "Goblin Market" to Tennyson's "Lady of Shallot" in that the women in both are tempted by something that's shiny.

I don't know why I find that so cool, but it seems really neat to me.

Not too much new round these parts. Lots of reading, helping undergrads with papers (which I will eventually have to mark), worrying about presentations, and being sad about the relatively miniscule size of my upcoming holiday break, as I'll only get to head home for a few days. Kinda miss the family. Kind of a lot, you might even say.

My beloved Horatio Hornblower is being considered as a possibility for the next Bond. Oh, please, say it is so--he would bring some good fresh blood to a series that needs it...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

and in the eleventh hour...


...inspiration strikes. New mix CD project: Songs for English nerds

Possible selections include:
+Sloan's Underwhelmed
+The Weakerthan's Aside
+Moxy Fruvous's My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors
+Simon and Garfunkel's I Am A Rock
+The McGarrigle Sisters' Schooldays (actually written by Loudon Wainwright III, Kate McGarrigle's ex and Rufus's dad)

Suggestions are VERY, VERY welcome - I know I'm not the only nerd out there...and of course, should you wish for a copy, just ask nicely.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

ah, things that make me laugh.


This is just bloody fantastic. (stolen from Dave, who Tinka thinks has the best blog going.)

Want to be a songwriter? Let Junior Eurovision show you how with these ten handy tips. Also, why was Celine Dion allowed to compete, back in the day? Why?

Just got back from taking the afternoon off to go see this film which was delightful and captivating and more than a little bit fluffy...all very wonderful things.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Canada Reads!


The books and panelists for Canada Reads have been announced...and when Rufus Wainwright is one of the picks, it's hard not to be exited. (Perhaps I shuld have listened to my mum and written the Ceeb a letter pitching myself as a panelist...)

Rufus is championing Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers, which is such an odd choice. It's certainly the strangest book I've ever read. This is what the CBC has to say about it:
One of the best-known experimental novels of the Sixties, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen’s second novel, and his most defiant and uninhibited work. At the centre of the novel are the members of a love triangle, united by their sexual obsessions and their fascination with a mythic seventeenth-century Mohawk saint. There is the bereaved and nameless narrator, an authority on the vanishing A------ tribe; his wife, Edith, one of the tribe’s last members; and their maniacal and domineering friend, F. By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, the book explores each character’s own version of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist within cannot be distinguished from the saint. Funny, harrowing, and fiercely moving, Beautiful Losers is a classic erotic tragedy, incandescent in its prose and exhilarating for its risky union of faith and sexuality.


Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy the book (it was a big part of my research problem paper, actually) but it's quite deliberately inaccessible, and not something I'm sure I want my mom to read...

For the other panelists/books/info on what this whole "Canada Reads" deal is, anyway, you can visit the site here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm gonna make it after all...


Today was a reasonably tumultuous day. Mostly in a good way, I suppose, but also in a just plain chaotic way. My 10 a.m. class (Topics in American Lit) was cancelled, which was good (and bad) because I was supposed to give my major presentation. While extra time is always appreciated in such matters, I would have liked to have at least gotten that one more thing out of the way. I'm presenting on John Edgar Wideman's Philadelphia Fire with the loose topic of "Islands and Isolation" and eventually while build an argument around the island as a masculine space. For the time being, this is within Philadelphia Fire, but could potentially be extended to African-American lit in general (or the texts we've studied this year in specific). Wideman uses The Tempest as an intertext, which intrigues me, as I tend to associate it more with Caribbean lit than American.

So instead of presenting I marked more thesis paragraphs (oh boy, do I have some that are real doozies), made oven fries for lunch (mmm...potatoe-y goodness), and picked up my (marked) Research Problem...

...and I got a 90 on it.

I am so frigging happy about that. (I refer you to last week's posting about the nausea that handing it in induced.) Since school has started, I've been feeling like I'm doing everything I can to keep my head above the water (and being only marginally successful in doing so). The last two and a half months have been coupled with a feeling of marginal adequacy, a feeling of constantly being *barely* able to grasp at the theoretical texts we've read--a feeling of being a fish who has suddenly realized that her little pond has turned into the entire Atlantic Ocean. (How's that for hyperbole?)

This is exactly the mid-November confidence boost that I need. Oh, and if anyone wants to read how it came out, they are more than welcome to--just email me. Is it sad that I'm considering putting it on my fridge with a bit gold star?

Friday, November 12, 2004

some other beginning's end


So here I am, in North Bay Rock City, visiting the Squidge and not helping her clean because I am a big fat jerk. Actually, I am going to go help her (our parents are also en route this weekend) but I wanted to write something first.

So I checked out Hayden with Cuff the Duke at the UGoo on Wednesday night, and it was a pretty solid show. Hayden is kind of a Neil Young for a new generation...he's almost the cliché of what a sad, bordering-on-emo-indie-folkie guitar player ought to be, only he makes itw ork. Cuff the Duke were also quite entertaining (aside from vaguely assholic audience members) although if I had gotten the chance to talk to their lead singer, I would have been all, "Dude, Chris Murphy called, and he wants his schtick back. Oh, and his hair. And his glasses."

In all seriousness, I enjoyed them, and since they are semi-Guelph local, apparently they'll be playing again in January or so,t o which I can only say...rockzaurs.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I Pity the Foucault IV: Search for the Blood Orchid


It's a Foucault time of year again, what can I say? It snowed briefly here in Guelph today, and I rather suspect that this is going to be a very snowy winter. Perhaps not here, but my comrades in the Bay that is Northerly may in for something a little rougher.

Which is where I am headed this weekend, so perhaps I ought not to be too smug about such goings on.

I handed in my research problem today, and nearly threw up afterwards. I wasn't nervous about it until after it had been handed in and then I suddenly remembered exactly how sucky my argument was...I really hope I don't flunk out. I ended up writing about the Canada, history, and national identity thing that I've been going on about for ages, and I think some of my argument is quite good, but some of it is decidedly weak...and dare I say, cursory. (My bibliography was also much shorter than everyone else's--waaaaahhhh!)

I did find a spectacular website that has some wonderful ruminations on the Great Questions of Canada, contributed by such notables as Charlotte Grey, Jack Granatstein, and Neil Bissoondath.

There are some meditations on foucault and Nietzsche that I will get around to later this week, possibly, as they are quite interesting.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

now would be a BAD time to run out of gas


So birthday Cranium was a reasonably successful event; with good food and surprise brithday cake for me, which is pretty fun. (Speaking of which, there's a piece in the fridge..hmmm...) Unfortunately, it was quite the late night, which led to me being wickedly tired for my TAing today, which I hate. Oh, and no one came to see me in my office hours again. And I tried to explain why Eats, Shoots & Leaves" is funny, but I don't think that anyone got it.

THe nerd factor was deliciously high last night; we had nearly a half hour conversation amongst the 8 or so of us about performative punctuation, or what happens when air quotes are taken to the extreme...and being English majors, "punctuation" was expanded to include proper MLA formatting. Performing the interrobang (or as I prefer to call it, QUESTION MARK-EXCLAMATION POINT) is still my favourite thing.

Tomorrow I am off to a colloquium being held at this school, with whom our PhD program is joint. It will be long, and the food possibly bad, but I will get to see one of my undergraduate classmates, who is pursuing her MA in their Gender and Genre program, which should be great. And then my very own Scottish Lass is venturing up for an evening of...well, probably an evening of movie wwatching, because she is the sick.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm strong and I'm hardly ever wrong


So. Birthday XXIII is on the books for the moment, and it has been a reasonably good day, netting me the following: two Care Bears nightgowns, peanut butter lipgloss, The Finns's Everyone Is Here, more yarn, a flu shot, and a Cranium party. It has been a wonderfully music-ed day as well, with such selections as Jesse Cook's cover of "Fall at Your Feet," Concrete Blonde's "happy birthday" and The Pursuit of Happiness's "I'm An Adult Now". Oh, I also now have a 20 year old sister, and though I have difficulty imagining myself as 23, the knowledge of her 20 years makes me feel old. My Care Bear is also now twenty years old.

Project Apartment Clean was not so successful as anticipated; but this will be rectified tomorrow, as I got a considerable amount of miscellaneous other stuff done, like lesson plans for tomorrow, which I hear are important. Hey! tomorrow is pay day too.

Owing to my own stupidity, I do not get to go see Bill Whitehead read Timothy Findley tomorrow. I suck.

"Poem" of the "Month":
Well, I don't hate my parents
I don't get drunk just to spite them
I've got my own reasons to drink now
Think I'll call my dad up and invite him
I can sleep in 'til noon anytime I want
Though there's not many days that I do
Gotta get up and take on that world
When you're an adult it's no cliche, it's the truth
--the Pursuit of Happiness, I'm An Adult Now

Monday, November 01, 2004

some days are diamonds, some days are rocks


and shout out to Rob, whose discussion of Tom Petty put that song in my head. And an appropriate one it is too, as I just spilled oil all down my pants. Damn it.

I present on my research problem in an hour and a half or so; I'm not particularly prepared but not particularly unprepared, either. I've been thinkng about the darned thing long enough that I could probably talk about it at length without even realizing that's what I'm doing...hopefully it goes well. I havent been able to put the itme or effort into in that it deserves, unfortunately.

Hayden is playing at the school on November 10th with Cuff the Duke, and I think it's safe to say that you can colour me excited for that.

I will be celebrating my birthday this week by getting a flu shot and cleaning my apartment.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Buddy Holly, is there any room on your plane?


One of the Worst Feelings Ever: REalizing that a book that you need to have read AND written a two-page response journal for is not actually on your bookshelf...because....YOU NEVER BOUGHT IT.

Dammit, dammit, dammit. I think the bookstore might be open tomorrow, but I'm really not sure...I know I can pick it up on Monday and have it read for Tuesday, no problem, I just don't WANT to do that. I hate it when things like this happen, especially since it means my Saturday night reading is Ella Hepworth Dixon's The Story of a Modern woman instead of some Toni Morrison. I'm just not sure about this whole 19th century thing...

There is a club (sort of, I think it's really just someone's apartment) downtown that is having an event entitled "What the Thunder Said." Unfortunately, it won't be my kind of music, though I am tempted to go just for the sheer awesomeness of the name.

Then again, I've been fantasticizing lately about making a music video that would borrow extensively from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so what do I know?

still, a pretty good week...


The new computer (henceforth known as Cortana) has been here for a week or so, and I haven't really had much of a chance to sit down and get to know her (and the Windows XP - I held on to 98 SE for so bloody long) but now I am, and it really seems like we will get along well. The last week has been decidedly busy, what with my gallivanting and attempting to get educated/educate others, and general avoiding of the fact that it's my birthday on Wednesday.

I got see The Prisoner of Azkaban in an IMAX theatre, which made quite happy. I'd forgotten how much I had enjoyed the film, and seeing it again made me appreciate some of the more subtle points of David Thewlis's performance as Remus Lupin. Of course, hanging out with that guy and my lovely best friend doesn't hurt, either.

Ventured into Toronto, and spent too much money at the Lush store, as per usual. I also got my first set of role playing dice, which are orange and look like candy. (This may or may not be why I chose them.) Stupid Silver Snail...

I had to go back to the school today to have some blood work done. I actually had it done yesterday, but the nurse forgot to label the tubes, and so I found myself back in the health clinic. YEsterday it was easy; today the nurse missed my vein on the first go-round and so we had to go to the other arm, which didn't want to produce enough blood to fill a small vial. Somedays it seems like I just can't win.

I have no desire to get homework done, tonight, either, which is very bad.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

pimping the CBC


So the CBC's The Greatest Canadian has made it to TV at last, and the website for it is pretty good. In particular, I recommend the trivia. I scored a cool 17/20, which I'm quite happy with. It's been a good day for trivia. Having arrived in Barrie, and detoured to the mall, I won a free coffee for knowing who the female lead in Algiers was. (Hedy Lamarr, if you're interested...and yes, I know this even though I haven't seen the movie.)

Handed back the first round of papers this morning, which was a little stressful--some of the papers were pretty bad, and I know there are at least a few people who didn't get the marks they wanted. I also did a Start, Stop, Continue evaluation, and it came out pretty well...some effective suggestions, and no one said that I sucked as a TA. Apparently they like that I bring them candy.

Having reflected on the paper marking experience (and by reflected on, I mean "considered seeking therapy to avoid thoughts of bodily harm in order to escape marking papers") I have decided that for the next round, I will simply invent the Undergraduate Paper Marking Drinking Game (tm):

+comma splice - one drink
+dangling modifier - one drink
+pronoun/antecedant agreement - one drink
+improper MLA formatting - one drink
+improper colon/semi-colon use - one drink
+excessive summarizing of text - two drinks
+pretentious language - two drinks
+colloquialisms - two drinks
+faulty apostrophes - two drinks
+no topic sentences - two drinks
+"In conclusion..." - two drinks
+"This paper will discuss..." - two drinks
+a proper thesis statement - three drinks
+your name/the instructor's name spelt incorrectly - chug!
+an A paper - drain your glass

I just...don't think my body can hold that much alcohol.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

she took centre stage


I just finished invigilating my first midterm. Not nearly as much fun as it looks, I must say...especially since I went to bed late last night...and it was still bloody dark out when I left for school this morning.

Not having internet access has definitely resulted in a decrease in my typing skills, I think. Hopefully this will change with the advent of the new computer. I think I am leaning towards Cortana as a name. Halo 2 is coming out in three weeks, which would be much more exciting if I had a freaking Xbox...it's sad that even though I only have a 13" screen TV, I'm still contemplating purchasing one. It's the online capability that has me excited, it would be just like I'd never left the bay.

The PS2 faction is up in arms, because apparently the only RPGs that matter are PS2, but I just like the Xbox, and being contrary to the PS2 faction.

Am off gallivanting this weekend, so don't antipate updates until sunday night/monday...if the new computer lives up to its promise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

it's only in your head you feel left out


So I should really point everyone to this blog. It is loquacious, opinionated, arrogant, exceptionally longwinded, and dare I say, a little pretentious...and written by one of my very best friends, who would (no doubt) apply many of those same labels to me and this blog. Regardless, straittohell is a pretty interesting guy, and you should read him, since he and I are working on blogging in dialogue once I get my computer on Sunday.

He has decided to call me "the lark", which I find funny...as I believe it was one of Joan of Arc's names...

off to class I go!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

frigging maroon five


Just in case there's anyone out there who likes that pesky maroon five type band, I have one thing to say to you: SO DOES MY DAD.

So it's Sunday, je suis a l'ecole and too lazy to put proper accentage on my French, which is probably a bad thing, since I need to start brushing up on my written French. I should be doing work on the imagined community of nationalism, which I've decided to tie to Matthew Arnold and the rise of English as a subject, but somehow I just can't seem to focus enough to get anything done. Big surprise there. I came up to the school because the Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD sitting in my DVD player at home seemed to just turn itself on and be all, "watch me! Monty Python is always more fun than homework! Watch meeeeee!" And really, how can you say no to that?

Especially when the Bruces are there, and the Red Riding Hood sketch is shown, because the Red Riding Hood sketch was your introduction to all things Python, and even though you've seen 80 bajillion times since that first time when you were 13, it still makes you laugh in a way that jeopardizes the dryness of your pants.

It has rained all weekend here, which has been thoroughly depressing. I went to the Farmers' Market yesterday, and scored 6 litres of potatoes, 1 litre of fresh apple cider, and a pomegranate. I also checked out the local art supply store, and bought some sketching pencils. The store had two things of particular interest to me: sealing wax (and seals) and linoleum blocks for print making...the possibilities truly are endless.

Internet access at home: t-one week, pending the arrival of *drumroll please* my new computer. Which, of course, needs a name.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I saw you lying in the arms of a poet


Ron Sexsmith is just a doll. He totally rocked my socks off last night. Although it was weird to go to a concert by myself, I suppose it is something that I will have to get used to, as I don't have the stable of concert buddies that I used to. Fortunately I don't think there's anything coming up in the next little bit, so I will be able to concentrate on the school work I need to do.
+presentation, twenty minutes or so, on Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities
+presentations, ten minutes or so, cultural context summary of Scientific Naturalism in the late Victorian
+response journal to Alice Walker's Meridian
+marking...and more marking...and then maybe some stabbing out of eyes
+other readings for the Anderson class, and a response to them as well


If he ever sang this, I would probably simultaneously implode and explode from its beauty.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I've got the urge for going, but I never seem to go


I am in a decidedly Joni Mitchell mood, as of late, though I'm not particularly sure why. As my birthday approaches, I become increasingly anxiously about my Finn Brothers CD...which is rumoured to be coming some time around then.

Two of my classes were cancelled this week so i'm not feeling terrifically academic at the moment, although there are books waiting for me at the library for that conference proposal I am trying to write. I need to get started on my research problem, which is due around the same time as that birthday of mine. Our outline for it has been simply that we should imagine that we are writing a critical preface to the definitive book on this particular problem.

So. If the problem is, how does Canadian literature deal with the concept of national identity?, where should I get started?

Or, more importantly, will I be able to finish after only 12 pages?

Ron Sexsmith tomorrow night, hurrah.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

if you can tell me the name of the bird on the back of this $50 bill, I'll give it to you


The weekend has been good to me so far. The giving of thanks is important, surely, and what I choose to focus on considering the "true" origins of the day. I chose my reading wisely this weekend; a few verses from Ecclesiates in King James, and of course, Brébeuf Saves the Worrrrrrrrrrlllld. It always seems that there is never as much time as I want on these sojourns home. It's difficult to find a balance between old friends, new friends, and family, but I think that for once in my life, I've figured it out. And I found my Nipissing ring, which makes me quite happy.

Derrida has died, which is quite sad, though I am not as familiar with his works as I ought to be.

It's amazing to me how this stupid blogging box can make every logical thought in my head disappear in a matter of moments. I swear I'm an intelligent person sometimes. Today was chock-full (chalk-full?) of bad 80s ballads, which I sadly quite enjoyed...total eclipse of the heart, indeed.

Plans for tomorrow: back to Goo-elf, where there will reading, and knitting, and cooking, and some drafting of a proposal for a PCA conference...I have some serious thinking to do.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

get me to the church on time!


MAn, I really wanted to update before today, but Blogger and the school computers just haven't been cooperating the way I'd like them to. The first paper for ENGL1200 is due tomorrow, so I have been working my way through office hours and emails and such. Some of the students are just so funny.

I finally got my SSHRC refund, and I must say it is nice to no longer be living on the brink of destitution, especially as my september bills are starting to trickle in, bit by bit.

I have been rather socially active as of late, which is always odd. The MA and PhD Society (colloquially known as MAPS) did a thing on Friday night, which involved the grad lounge, and later the Albion Hotel (hencely referred to as the Alby) and me consuming a great deal of Strongbow. By a great deal, I mean two pints, but that is a lot of liquid for me...especially since it affects me (in a morning after sense) far more than my usual vodka and cranberry juice. It was good to get out and talk with people from the program in a non-class setting; and it has made me very happy that I am postponing any PhD plans for at least a year, as everyone is running around writing proposals for SSHRC.

Straittohell ventur'd to my place on Saturday night; we ran amok watching Life of Brian in theatre, eating Swiss Pigeon, and ultimately ended up dancing at an undergraduate bar, befuddling undergrads everywhere with our requests for David Bowie and Billy Idol's "White Wedding," parts one AND two. If you hop on over to http://straittohell.blogspot.com, you can actually read a much better account of exactly how much fun the evening was. I will give away the secret surprise ending by telling you now that our dancing to Bowie's "Modern Love" was such that drunk farmer boys felt it necessary to mock us through ridiculous exagerated dances of their own...

Canon formation will be a topic of discussion again next week, when Strait and I post a discussion we held over the weekend.

I'll post some interesting school stuff later. I promise.

Friday, October 01, 2004

more knitting


Having finished hat the second about a week ago, and despite the fact that it gives its owner a decidedly "thuggish" look, I am embarking on hat the third, which will be mine, once it gets finished. To be precise, it is this hat.

I joined the staff of The Ontarion yesterday. It has been far too long since I have done any meaningful newspapering. So I amy be writing some news and some music reviews, channeling the spirit of my old friend, the Schrode.

Hey everybody, it's time to apply for teacher's college in Ontario. You know you want to.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

canlit canlit canlit


So Amazon.ca produces three pretty interesting lists: 50 Essential Canadian Reads, the Honourable Mentions list, and even the stuff that [amazon] wishes was back in print.

Tinka's been blogging about Danish canon formation as of late, which has kept the idea of Canadian canon formation tumbling through my mind. For my research/theory course, I have to present a "research problem" and provide a concise, introductory discussion for it as well as an extended bibliography of what's been written about the subject, and I'm really starting to think that Canadian canon formation may be the way to go. (Second choice will be attempting to throw my hat into the "Is Canada Postcolonial?" ring.) The lists that I've linked to above are only the beginning of why I want to write about canon; and it would likely touch a great deal on cultural politics.

The top 50 list above isn't a great example, though--it lists dictionaries, and other "non-literary" books...so it isn't quite canon-oriented, though it tries. It also chooses some phenomenally poor works--Brian Moore's Blackrobe, for example, is poorly written, and hardly essential reading. (Anyone connected with THSWSNBN knows of the other reasons why I hate this book so much--but one can hate books and still believe in reading them...)

Canada's colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial nature also auger some interesting concerns when it comes to canon formation. If you assume that Canada has an existing canon, it can reasonably be assumed to be a Eurocentric canon...which means, of course, we should be looking at canonical re-formation.

This week's theory class deals with the peformance of racial identity, and in order to tie it in with my discussion of Canada and canon formation, I give you The E. Pauline Johnson Archive, Representative Poetry Online's Emily Pauline Johnson page, and her Gallery of Poets page.

Johnson, also known as Tekahionwake, was a very famous woman in the late 19th/early 20th centuries for her performances of poetry. She would often dress in full "Indian" costume (including a scalp attached to her waist, and a skirt "with silver ornaments, hammered from coins by the native silversmiths of her tribe, four of them being made from brooches plundered at the extermination of the Huron tribe and the twenty Jesuit fathers, under whose influence they had come") before changing into the proper clothing of a Victorian lady for the second half of her performance.

More meanderings on this subject once I've actually read the articles in question.

I am a tool of the establishment


So, after i have posted about clothing and its relationship to the life of the academic, I sit here at this computer and suddenly the realization that the sweater that I'm wearing is ON BACKWARDS besets me.

Please send help, as I am now clearly no longer capable of dressing myself in the morning.

I should probably go eat lunch, and buy books.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

straittohell is CUT


Once upon a time, my mum threatened to put me on What Not To Wear as I apparently commit several fashion crimes on a daily basis, not the least of which is wearing predominantly blue clothing and/or clothing in dark, sombre colours. This may help to explain why I am drawn to academia--it isn't my love of English, after all, it's the clothes.

The weekend was wonderful, though I must state that King Arthur's craptacularity exceeded even my own expectations of such; but spending time with people again was a very good thing for me. Straittohell and I did the T.O. thing, followed by the Goo thing (interspersed with a bus losing its transmission and me being late for class on the way back from the t-dot as a result)...which brings us to the reason why Straittohell is cut.

We were talking about something, he made an off-topic comment, and followed it up with, "I'll just put that in the parking lot."

Jeebus, Mary and Joseph. See, Strait (snerg) is currently employed by the government of Ontario. The Parking Lot is this insidious concept developed by the government to refocus or redirect their meetings; insomuch that whenever someone starts talking about superfluous things, the meeting's chair will put that train of thought into "the parking lot" where it can be come back to at the end of the meeting, if there's time. And it's the government, so really, there never is.

Having worked for the government for the last five summers, I've experienced my fair share of the parking lot in training sessions, and I must say that it's a term that I absolutely loathe. I don't loathe the idea, perse, just the term. it sounds so...grade three, I think.

We found a jukebox that would play Crowded House for us, though, and that made it all better.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

lymphomania


So it turns out that I am not actually sick in the way I feared (strep throat), but rather I have a very enlarged lymph node that is pressing on my throat and part of my ear canal, thereby making everything extremely sore. Since the cause is likely viral, there isn't much I can do for it, other than pop ibuprofen like they are candy.

You mean to say they are not candy?

I teach in fourteen minutes and three floors up, so this will be quite short, and it is unlikely that I will be around this weekend, owing to the visitor. Today I am teaching the wonderful world of thesis statements, wish me luck.

Greg called from England yesterday, which was quite possibly the best thing to happen to me in quite some time. He is doing well, and will be home (to other London) for Christmas, so I may see him for the first time in nearly two years.

much debauchery to be had next week, as straittohell makes his way to the t-dot. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

lying in the depths of your imagination


This makes me crazy happy. Timeline of Fictional Historical Events, how my heart has yearned for thee. Via Esther and Tinka.

Long day at school, this is. Class starts in a few minutes. I thought briefly I had something relative to blog about, but it is appearing more and more that I do not.

I have almost finished knitting my second hat. Hurray.

I need to spend more time with music.

Monday, September 20, 2004

halls cough drops=the breakfast of champions


Just a few minutes before class to say that I think having no fewer than FOUR active email addresses is a bit much; and that I think I need to start some consolidation on that front.

Thanks to all who have emailed, your thoughts have been appreciated.

I got my feminist groove thing on again; one of this week's articles dealt with that word which translates to "writing about prostitutes" and staging of the female obscene body.

This weekend, I will have a visitor, which is quite exciting. Hurray for company. The downside is, I will still have a crapload of reading to do. Ah well. Hopefully the visitor is a patient type, as I have at least two books and three theoretical articles to plough through.

Happy birthday to the three whose birthdays are tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

blogger triumphant


Still no access at the house, so am still blogging from the school. Oh public computer rooms, how much do I hate you. Though this one *is* virtually empty.

I taught my first class today. It went reasonably well, though my throat was dry, my armpits weren't, and I spoke as though I had just hit puberty, my voice cracking all over the place. I trust that it will go better with time. The class seems evenly divided between those who took the class because they wanted to and those who are taking it because it's a degree requirement for them. We reading some Ursula K. LeGuin and some bell hooks this week, we are doing Yann Martel next week, which is pretty exciting. It's a CanCon heavy course, which I dig.

My classes themselves are going reasonably well. One of my profs is from New Zealand (!) and we are reading all sort of interesting things; the other prof is a Governor-General's Award-winning poet, among other things, and we are also reading all sort s of interesting things. Unfortunately, her course has been changed from Topics in Commonwealth/Postcolonial Literature to Topics in American Literature, but it does help to diversify my CV a bit more, I guess. I am now taking classes in two things I have never learned about before.

There is much reading to be done for next week: James Ellison's Invisible Man (clocking in at a mere 561 pages), Olive Schreiner's Life on an African Farm, and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon; as well as whatever other theoretical stuff I have to read for the approaches to research and theory class...i think that one of reading for this week is Foucault's "Docile Bodies." Yeesh.

At least since I have no friends here, I've got a whole weekend to do it all in.

Monday, September 13, 2004

bloop bloop beep


I have Sam Roberts' "Taj Mahal" stuck in my head. Now, as some of you know, my love for Sam Roberts verges on the unholy, mostly because, well, he is just that damn good and I really can't get enough of his music. And some day, when I have my own computer and internet access in my living space, I will summarize the precise reasons why he is the best thing to happen to Can-rock since Loverboy broke up (Loverboy did break up, right?) but that is a post for another time, I suppose.

So. Class the first (of TAing) is down. My staff advisor appears to be the awesome, and apparently when you TA, you get the course books for free. There are very few things in this world that give me the inordinate amount of pleasure that is free books. Especially when one of them is a hardbacked Handbook for Writers, 3rd Canadian Edition.

Class the first of my MA career, which called Approaches to Research and Theory, takes place this afternoon, in about...four hours. It's a module-based course, and for the first one we are reading a working model of a 19th century minstrel show, and some pretty complex theory pieces, including Slavoj Zizek's The Desert of the Real which is available at Lacan.com and is about September 11th as spectacle. It's pretty interesting reading (especially compared to Deleuze's writings on the Rhizome) and I hope I can contribute well to a class discussion of it.

The Imaginus poster people are on campus today; I think I am off to give them money in exchange for beautiful decorations. They have prints of Le Petit Prince that I positively covet.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

dashboard confessional


So, after a week and little bit of living in Guelph, this is what I have observed:

+McLaughlin Library is what the kids these days refer to as "the awesome." (Or, they would if kids these days actually went to libraries.) It has 6 floors, 300+ computers, and a freaking Williams Coffee Pub. Oh, and a self check-out. How cool is that?
+The bus system here actually makes sense. How weird is that? It also seems to be on time.
+There are squirrels everywhere here. As my sisters will tell you, squirrels are evil.
+The recycling program here is crazy good, although confusing as heck to newcomers.
+The downtown farmers' market might be one of the best things ever.
+When you live alone, cable TV can actually be a good thing.
+This is a very pro-activism community.

Things are still going well, I think. I spent yesterday with my mom and my dad is going to be up tomorrow (for work) so I'll get to see him, which makes me quite happy.

Classes start Monday morning at 8:30 with that class that I'm teaching. wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

portrait of the scholar as a shadow


Thus, the Great Grad School Adventure is begun. So far so good, aside from a few minor hitches--the phone company lost the work order for my landline; I had a bit of an incident with the bathroom in my apartment (apparently I *am* a claustrophobe! who knew?) and a pesky sore throat. Living alone is hard with no outside accoutrements like telephones and emails, and I remain hopeful that some of these will reappear by the weekend at the absolute latest.

I am so frigging homesick and lonely it's not funny.

I am current in the basement of the library, chattering away on a nice computer that is nestled among the government publications. The library here is a thing of tremendous beauty...I adore it already. They also will photocopy stuff for free for the grad students, which I dig. A lot. I have a mailbox and an office...and no doubt, more to report tomorrow. :)

I miss you guys like crazy.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

you can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain


This may be the last post for a while, as I depart for U-Goo tomorrow morning, bright and early. All my usual fears have come flooding back to me, but I trust that it will be alright.

I'll be back as soon as I can; depending on how soon I can get the internet set up.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray


Finally back from moving the Squidge into her new digs in North Bay. Actually, all things considered, the move went *incredibly* well; making me fear for what will happen on Thursday, which begins what one friend has termed "Guelphapalooza". I have decided to prioritize between what *has* to be brought with me and what can wait a few weeks until someone has time to bring it down; I suspect the majority of my books and my beloved Cranium may remain behind in favour of more practical considerations. For example, I am much more likely to need my electric frying pan than all of my Nadine Gordimer books.

Both DnD campaigns are now on hiatus as everyone rushes back to school. Dragonquest could be reinitiated at Christmas, and I really hope it will be--since we just went up to epic level characters after being blessed by Bahamut. The plotting of non-magic Elizabethan England continues, and is likely to be crazy fun.

I spent last night with the Newlyweds, and we watched Denys Arcand's Le Déclin de l'empire americain, which is just brilliant. The Newlyweds have recommended Les Invasions Barbares, which is kind of a continuation of the same story, apparently, so I have to find someone to watch that with me.

Packing must continue, I suppose.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

these days remain inside the very heart of me


I have been given an official moving date now (the 2nd, also known as Thursday) and so with that note of finality, I think the summer is finally over. I was going take pictures of my bag and post them here, because I'm quite proud of it, but then I left the bag (and my wallet, worse luck) at someone's house the other night.

I am off to North Bay Rock City for tomorrow to help move more of my sister's stuff into her house; am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to see the Newlyweds, and also to give North Bay a proper goodbye.

DnD: Session the Last (maybe) is taking place tonight; we had an encounter with the Deck of Many Things last week and I will level up after the next thing I kill, in addition to having levelled up at the end of the session, which I think will make me...cleric 8. It's unfortunate that I'm lawful good and therefore not likely to just start killing stuff. I really like the Deck of Many Things; it may make an appearance (in slightly altered form) in the Elizabethan England campaign.

I have rediscovered my affection for Sam Roberts.

Friday, August 27, 2004

something bit my collar bone


Next time I level up, I'm going to take extra ranks in jerk.

It seems like it might be useful.

Another seemingly random post. Not much been accomplished today, except that I've finally seen Hackers; packed a few more boxes; and prepared for tomorrow's Great Washing Machine Blitz (now with 10% more clean power!)

Remember back at the beginning of the summer (by which I really mean the spring, the end of April to be precise) when I started working on my knit handbag? Well, some 17 weeks later, I've finally finished the damn thing--it's blocked and felted, and I must say I'm quite happy with it. Theoretically, I should find a lining for it, but we'll see, I guess, and someone has asked me to make them one too...so I should have ample knitting projects to keep me busy for the next little while.

I can see you with my eyes closed


A moving date has finally been decided upon, and thus I am into the homestretch before I move into my basement apartment. I must confess to being a bit afraid of living alone; my track record for performing basic activities when left to my own devices (for example, eating more than one meal a day) is not a good one. Thus, I have resolved to make a more concerted effort to ensure that I eat, and talk to people, and stay active, etc. while living on my own.

Odds of me just ending up glued to this machine anyway...2:1, probably.

I went on the least satisfying back-to-school shopping trip *ever* yesterday. I don't need a lot for school this year in terms of clothes and such, but I did want to pick up a few things...sweaters and such; some new pants, a pair of "responsible" shoes...but everywhere I went, there was either nothing in my size or only one cash register open and twenty people in the line-up. Some days, you are just not meant to buy things, I suppose. I did end up with a pair of cords and a t-shirt in the end, but not the corduroy blazer I so desperately want...ah well, there's always tomorrow.

I spent yesterday evening at a friend's house, partaking in badminton (I'd forgotten how much I love that), movie trivia (yay team T*C*R) and general camraderie with some of the friends I'm happy to have made/made better this summer.

Tim Hortons has started serving steeped tea (ie, from an actual pot of tea, as opposed to giving you a tea bag and hot water) and I'm not sure I like the changeover. It's still decent tea, but now a large costs me about 50 cents more, which gets a big boo-urns.

gotta get back, back to the pack, samurai jack

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

ain't that a kick in the head


Ah, random blog posting that serves no real purpose--how you make me happy.

So I am doing some theoretical cleaning down here in the basement...theoretical in the sense that it isn't so much cleaning as packing, but also in the sense that, well, I'm updating my blog, and therefor clearly not packing.

I actually have less to do than I thought I did, although I suspect I will have to start prioritizing which books get to come to Guelph with me, and that makes me sad. Although, when I have six different Italian cookbooks, the question of exactly how many I need to have with me does come up. I want to bring my school books as well, just so I can have all these impressive Norton Critical Editions of Frankenstein and Evelina and Oroonoko sitting out to impress people. It's unfortunate that the only one of those books that I really care for is Frankenstein...I may have to break out Lady Audley's Secret as well, just so that the good doctor doesn't get lonely on the bookshelves.

Back to the grind, I guess.

Monday, August 23, 2004

this is what it sounds like...when doves cry


I forgot to mention in the previous post that I spent last night at THSWSNBN's Sister Site, which is reputed to be quite haunted. I slept in one of the historic buildings, on the floor, and have very little back problems as a result (hurray!)

there is something terrific about waking up in the middle of history like that.

chevaliers de la table ronde


The [insert adjective here:] chapter of my life that has been THSWSNBN is now finished. This is not, of course, the first time I have said that. In fact, I think I have said that for the last three years...but this is the first time I will stick to it, as I have a wonderful summer term at school to look forward to that prevents me from returning.

I actually took steps to not return this summer, but as I did not get any of the other jobs I applied for, I returned to SMATH. I was quite bitter about this at the time (which may have somehow impacted my summer) but now that I have reached the end, I am given pause to wonder if perhaps there was a reason that I was meant to come home this summer.

There's a pretty good chance that this will be the last time I ever live in my parents' home; it maybe the last time I get to live in this part of Ontario...both of which are things that make me crazy sad. I didn't spend as much time with my family as I would have liked to this summer...I didn't get a chance to do a lot of the things I would have liked to do. At the same time, I did do a lot of things, including strengthening some old friendships and creating new ones.

And so I wind up where I always do, some regrets but not too many, looking to the road ahead with trepidation mixed with excitement.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

the dawn's early light has taken you from me


I forgot to mention that I've received my official TA posting for the Fall term. The course is called "Reading the Contemporary World"(click to read the actual course description) and I think it will be good for me because it will combine both literature and tech writing skills. I can't even begin to say how excited I am about this...the only downside is that the class is at 8:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays (and only an hour long); at least my seminar is at 10 on Thursdays. I don't mind morning classes so much, I guess, since it gets it out of the way, but I know that students don't necessarily appreciate them.

so much reading to do!

sunflowers and your face fascinate me


Yesterday was a great day. A crew from THSWSNBN and I trekked our way down to the Molson Ampitheatre to see Sarah McLachlan perform. I was able to convince my half of the crew (being one other person) that a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum was in order. We had a lot of fun (I particularly enjoyed the Arms and Armour exhibit) but unfortunately a lot of the ROM is shut down while the renovate (and build the world's UGLIEST extension onto the building). After the ROM, we trekked over to Queen West and ate lunch at the Bishop and the Belcher, followed by visits to two of my favourite stores in the whole world: The Silver Snail and Lush. I escaped from the Lush store relatively easily, having dropped a mere $75 there...which, considering that I wanted to buy out the whole stupid store, was a good thing. I now own virtually every product they make that has honey in it, which makes me crazy happy, because, well, I love the smell of their Honey I Washed the Kids soap. The other member of my party decided to assert his metrosexuality (god, I loathe that term) and bought himself solid shampoo and some soap.

Sarah herself was pretty good; our early arrival time meant we got great seats at the very front of the lawn. The opening act was the charming Butterfly Boucher, who won me over despite some irritating attempts to shill her record. The concert was recorded for a DVD release at some point, which is pretty cool. I'm not as big a fan of Sarah as once I was, so I wasn't super-thrilled to be there (not the way I am when I see the Finn), and I can definitely see how some people find her live show very...mechanical...but it was a solid show, and she did both "Blackbird" and "Posession" so I was quite happy with that. To say nothing of hanging with the HSWSNBN crew (and various friends of such), which is always a good time.

And I was able to successfully navigate myself around Toronto without any problems at all, which makes me very happy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

this is what a feminist looks like


And T-minus 3 days left at the historic site, which makes me wicked happy. Things are going well, more or less, on most fronts these days, or at least as well as can be expected. A friend has suggested that I try my hand at DMing a one-shot session, and I am considering it; with the setting being Elizabethan England...would anything be more appropriate for an English nerd like myself?

In honour of THSWSBN, here are some links to the French folk songs we have been singing in choir:
+Entendez-vous sur l'ormeau
+Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser (my personal favourite chanson francais)
+A la claire fontaine
+C'est l'aviron
+En roulant ma boule
+The Huron Carole (en francais)


The Great Canadian Tunebook has awesome lyrics and midi files in btoh French and English for traditional Canadian (well, European Canadian--they don't have the Huron words to the Huron carole) folk songs.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


dancing with a mathman Posted by Hello

with mon père Posted by Hello

giving my speech (notice the awesome factor of my hair) Posted by Hello

walking down the aisle (with bride in background) Posted by Hello

In the receiving line. Posted by Hello

thinking about making my move tonight


a mere five days of work remain until I will be shuffling loose from THSWSNBN coil, potentially for good. Am somewhere between excited and saddened; this summer has been trying in many senses of the word, and it will certainly be nice to have some "real" time off. The summer's other activities are winding down as well; both RP campaigns are nearing points at which it would be good to stop, and I think that I will very much miss the outlet it provides, unless I find some like minded people in Guelph.

Sort of a funny thing I've noticed recently is that I am very superstitious about which dice I like to use; there is a translucent green D20 that is the only one I roll well with, or so I like to believe. I once referred to a coin as a D2, which made people laugh. Ah, such nerdishness.

Have been feeling a bit topsy-turvy as of late, which I ascribe primarily to the impending end of HSWSNBN/the move, but still unsettling, in general. I am writing something for a friend at work, and I remain hopeful that I will be able to finish most of it this weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I need a new song to sing


Not too much new in these parts; the wedding this weekend was fabulous. I had so much fun (when I hadn't really thought that I would) dancing and being semi-social with my family and friends...and I even drank a respectable amount and didn't embarass myself, contrary to the positions offered by my compatriots. The groom himself predicted I would be in bed by 11 if I had more than two drinks; I had 6 and essentially closed the reception.

Pictures to follow, perhaps?

Today was a generally crummy day. I forgot important things (like my lunch), argued with a friend, spoke poor French, made mistakes I've made before, and wrote bad poetry. I must be pre-menstrual. I hate ascribing my emotions to biological (dys)function, but my tendency to over-react at times cannot be ignored...

The DnD has been treating me well as of late; I've developed a real affinity for one of my characters and it makes me sad that she will likely only belong to this one campaign, because I enjoy how she plays with reference to the other characters in this campaign. I've taken a temporary (hopefully strategic) leadership role in hopes of heading off an uncivil war...it will be interesting to see how that pans out. In the other campaign, we are in the astral planes; specifically, the plane of air, and I am nearly dead.

Another French tour tomorrow, and possibly more bad poetry. If I'm lucky.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I'm just second hand news

I've done a lot of secondhand book shopping lately.

It figures that once I broke down and bought a new copy of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" that I would start seeing it everywhere--though I shouldn't complain, I did get a fairly inexpensive copy. I've picked up a lot of plays in the last month; Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" keeps teasing at me but I just can't bring myself to buy it.

I did get a copy of Margaret Atwood's Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature which is just fabulous. Atwood and I have a love/hate relationship (though decidedly more love than hate) and I am quite excited to read this. I also picked up Sylvia Plath's Ariel, which will be interesting to read. I am starting to get back into reading poetry, and while I'm not sure Plath is necessarily a good place to start, I am hopeful that she will be able to inspire me to write something worth reading, as it's been a while since I have. I picked up an ancient scholastic edition of Matthew Arnold's poetry and prose when I was in Guelph, and I must say I do enjoy him, perhaps more than any non-Victorian specialist ought to.

j'ai des grands instances de lucidité

A nice couple of days off, in which very little was accomplished; a thing exceptionally satisfying, as this summer has been far too busy. I got my ass kicked by a copper dragon (alignment changed for purpose of the campaign, apparently) and when I went to proclaim that I had taken Die Hard as a feat and was still alive, I remembered that I'd done that in the other campaign. Damn it. Other than that, there was swimming, movie watching, second hand book buying, and pizza eating, all of which equates to a happy rhi.

Only a few weeks left to the summer. I wish I knew where the time went.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

...lying in the depths of your imagination...

First things first, of course.  The Finn(s) were bloody incredible; this was the third time I've seen them in the last year and a half or so, and easily one of the best performances (and venues).  It makes me sad when they talk about playing the Masonic Temple in 1980 as Split Enz, though, I wasn't even born then.  The merch table actually yielded an autographed copy of One Nil for me and an autographed copy of Tim's CD for dad.  They covered a lot of both the Enz and Crowded House stuff, which was just...wonderful.  Especially "Weather With You."  The fact that a ringtone exists of that song makes me want to own a cellphone...in fact, I would probably call myself just to hear it.

My two days in North Bay were also quite nice; I went to a shower for the soon-to-be-weds, got my hair fixed (a cut and two colours of foil highlights--it looks quite fetching now), bought a ridiculous amount of books from the secondhand bookstore,  and spent some quality time with people that I will soon be missing very much.

I have an apartment in Guelph; this is one less pressure gone.

Monday, July 26, 2004

updates are for suckas

Updates aren't really for suckas; I actually wrote a lengthy one earlier this week and then my computer spazzed out and ate it.  Perhaps it is hungry and I ought to feed it; or at the very least, make myself lunch for work today, since I'm leaving in 15 or so minutes.

It has been a very draining couple of weeks. We are on a different schedule now at THSWSNBN that actually involves working less...but I actually feel like I'm working more.  I think I just need to start spending my days off doing nothing except sleeping and suntanning, and then I'll feel more like I'm actually getting time off.  I filmed an episode of a French kids' tv show...which will eventually air...I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Of course, having complained about the time off thing, I am headed to the t-dot tonight to see Les Frères Finn at Massey Hall, and then booting it back to North Bay for the next few days before returning to work as Simon Desfosses on Thursday.  Damn, it feels good to be a soldier...

In last night's DnD session, I successfully killed a black dragon. It was awesome.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I'm just thinking...

It is my professional opinion that there ought to be at least another six hours in the day, 'cause I have *no* idea how to get anything done.  The summer is slipping away from me ridiculously fast (the finn! next week!) and I still have nowhere to live.
 
I did finally pick my courses, though.  More on that later.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

my aching heart would bleed for you to see...


I've been rather enjoying the music of Annie Lennox lately. She has such a lovely voice; I've often thought that if I could choose how my voice would sound when I sang, I would choose her voice. Or, occasionally, Chrissie Hynde.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. THSWSNBN has switched from my old, reliable schedule of Tuesday-Saturday to some kind of 4 days on, 2 days off deal and it's taking some adjustment, although I am enjoying it on the whole, especially since I have been able to visit Wonderland and spend time with friends that I would not have been able to otherwise, like the Mathman.

The parents had a good trip out east; the sister had a good time being here without them. Or at least this sister did. I should probably announce, as well, that the boy and I are no more; I have lost a boyfriend and (hopefully) gained a friend. Any questions will be answered in due time.

More real-life people keep jumping on the bloggy bandwagon, which I quite like. A special welcome to the Pretender. She's a good egg.

Pay day tomorrow, and I have my GST cheque as well. So hopefully tomorrow will yield a haircut, some new DVDs, and possibly a henna kit of some kind. I got two paw prints put on my tummy while at Wonderland, and I'm quite entranced by them. Not quite entranced enough to take the capital-T tattoo plunge, but still highly amused. Friday will involve book shopping, coffee, and a movie...and perhaps I will finally pick up Air's score to the Virgin Suicides...or possibly even the Virgin Suicides in paperback. Although, that may not be the best idea...since every time I read that book (and I do adore it) I wind up depressed for several weeks.

New books are terribly exciting to me...I wish I knew what classes I was taking/TA-ing, so I could start reading up...

Friday, July 09, 2004

brand new day


not many updates recently, I guess. It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks. I started another role playing campaign (this one an actual Dungeons and Dragons campaign--as opposed to the other one, whih is based on D20 but is actually the brainchild of a brilliantly creative friend). Once again I wound up as a cleric (not that I mind) AND I'm half-elf half-dragon. It's awesome.

I need to find some time to sit down and write seriously, and soon, I think. I sense that something big is coming, btu I'm not sure what it is.

Friday, July 02, 2004

running through my head


What a crazy busy week. Not really that much has happened, I guess, except a visit from that Steve guy I used to live with (and, truth be told, miss enormously). I also saw Spiderman 2--which is terrible--not even good cheese like the first film.

I have been doing some bashing with people as work as well, which is essentially doing battle with a variety of weapons created from pool noodles and PVC piping. Such good times. I am lucky to have the friends that I do.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

you'll be the last one standing


Apparently I have written 17 493 words in this puppy over the last little while. Very unprolific output, considering I've had the bloody thing for two years, but still I am reasonably proud of this, and of the fact that I've made my blogging a little more consistent this summer. So you can bet that next year when I have no friends left, am sleeping five hours a night, and have an ulcer AND pneumonia...I will still be blogging to procrastinate.

I keep forgetting to mention that I did in fact get tickets to the Finn Brothers show in Toronto. It's at Massey Hall (which means I will have seen the Finn in my two favourite concert venues ever) and we have balcony seats, which will be quite fun. My dad is to be one of my concert companions and he is decidedly afraid of heights. I just hope the seats will be better than when we saw Sloan there in '99...as my dad is fond of saying, "there's not a bad seat in Massey Hall...except for our Sloan seats, eh?"

Dust From A Distant Sun has long been one of my favourite reads, and perhaps a tiny bit because it is named after one of my favourite songs. I wanted to give this blog a Finn title as well, but there was just something about the Academia Nuts that greatly amused me, and I couldn't think of a good title, since Something So Finn was already gone...

I remember when Crowded House released Recurring Dream, back in in 1997. It was a few weeks before I would leave for the three months I spent in France, and I remember seeing/hearing "Don't Dream It's Over" on Much Music (which actually played music like this at that time). It was like finding a sweater that you loved and thought you'd lost for good. Dad put Recurring Dream on tape for me and it was one of only three tapes I took with me to Ste. Zacharie. The songs have come to mean much more to me over the years but I still associate them with being away from home, and in that sense, I suppose, they are like friends to me.

Monday, June 21, 2004

the future's so bright...I want to run and hide


Just came back from a semi-successful trip to Guelph. I checked out a few (fairly reasonable) apartments, one of which I would like to take...if I can decide that I want the boy to move down with me, that is.

All of a sudden, I am absolutely terrified. I talked to one of this year's MA students and she really put the fear of god, He Who Shall Not Be Named, gnomes, and all else that is unholy into me about what a rough year it is going to be; citing the usual cohort of ulcers, pneumonias, and other occupational hazards of the MA in English.

The campus itself is gorgeous and the city seems quite nice...if only I could beyond this completely (well, almost completely) irrational fear of everything. I'm sitting here right now with my heart beating quite quickly and I honestly feel like I'm on the verge of a panic attack. this does not bode well for my future.

*sigh*

Sunday, June 20, 2004

rocking out is for chumps


Still making with the sick on this end, which is partially why there has been little updating on this end--aside from the part where this week has just been crazy busy with the commencement of Not-dungeons and Not-dragons and trying to spend time all of the various friends.

The role playing is really far more fun than it has any right to be, and I am thrilled with the way my (vaguely Klingon-esque) character is developing.

We also watched Bubba Ho-tep and Grave of the Fireflies. The first is good; the second is better...it manages to be haunting, disturbing, and endearing all at the same time.

In a very short time, I will own this shirt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

did they have airplanes back then?


Another busy day at THSWSNBN. I have seven tours in four days this week, and on the fifth day, I blacksmith. And then we start the new rotation, and that will be really weird. Today was a very random tour day. My morning tour started with my group's teacher announcing to me that I had "the shaft class"...first of all, inappropriate much? (this was said in front of a class of 12 year olds) ...and second of all, WAAAAH! Ironically, they were actually a good group. The afternoon tour was also good, although the kids seemed to get stupider towards the end, which resulted in the question, "Did they have airplanes back then?"

French seniors tomorrow. Wish me luck.

And...I may finally get to see that pesky potter film, at long last.

Monday, June 14, 2004

lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did


It's funny how sometimes it seems to be easier to talk around things than to actually talk about them. Blogging is a really good example of that. Sometimes I think about things that I would like to blog (during the day) and then when I come home and actually sit down here at the computer, nothing comes to mind and I end up writing about obscure or very general things that aren't too relevant to what's actually happening in my world. I'm not sure whether that's self-preservation or something else.

The weekend was lovely. I am sunburnt now, but that happens when one spends most of two days outside...there is actual COLOUR on some of my skin. it's fabulous. There was poetry, there were good friends, hot tubs, large goldfish, conversations about absurdist theatre, thunderstorms...all this equates to a general feeling of contendedness with the world right now.

Tara wrote about creative drought yesterday, which begs me to consider why I haven't *really* written in a pretty considerable amount of time. I think that at a certain point, it simply becomes easier to not write. I read a book once called "The War of Art" which was essentially about not procrastinating and actually sitting down and writing (by the guy who wrote the Legend of Bagger Vance, weirdly enough)...of course, it didn't actually motivate me to write anymore, but I am hoping that will change soon and that I will have a chance to actually get some of what I'm feeling down on paper.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


I actually blogged about the graduation ceremony last night but then my computer froze. Figures. The ceremony itself was fantastic...very short (1.5 hours, a Nipissing record) and I got to see most of the people from my program, and spend the night with Kristabelle, which is always a highlight.

I didn't think graduation would be that big of a deal...even in high school, I knew that I would be doing at least two degrees, so I'd always kind of figured that this one would be more just a stepping stone on my way to the big Bachelor of Education. In reality, it was a beautiful, exciting, wonderful day. I actually feel like I've accomplished something. I think it has a larger impact because I won't be at Nipissing next year.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

the joke is always on me


so I was all excited, as you can see in the post below, about not being sick anymore...so when I get to work on Tuesday morning, what do I do? Take a cab to the boyfriend's house, 'cause once again I am the president of Sickville.

The last two days have been mercifully healthy and *knock wood* tomorrow will hopefully be as well, as I suspect THSWSNBN might implode if anyone calls in sick tomorrow, as we are severely overbooked.

Gradumauation is this weekend, so I am headed back to the Bay after work tomorrow, to seek the comfort of roommates and to test drive the wedding shoes...by walking across the stage to get my diploma. Hey, I didn't trip in high school, with any luck that will still hold true.

I am all road-trip mix-CD-ed up now, so I am off to bed. g'night!

Monday, June 07, 2004

happy one hundred and one


this is my official post #101. How exciting is that?

Not too much new in the world of the skylark, aside from the fact that I feel human for the first time in almost a week. People keep complimenting me on how I look, which is nice, but I feel I should always be adding "yes, this is what happens when you eat virtually nothing for a week" to my "thank you." No matter, I suppose, I have plenty of time to play calorie catch-up.

I got my shoes for the wedding today. These ones, to be exact, only in black and not white. They are very cute, and not too tall--not that it matters, since I am taller than my escort (whoever he may be) in bare feet.

The Cranium party this weekend did not go as well as planned; although it was still a lot of fun. I hadn't realized when I picked the date that it would be Game 6 of the Stanley Cup. This was the first party I've been to in ages where there were more boys than girls, a vast majority of the people there were more interested in the hockey. Personally, I was more interested in the hot tub, but that's just me. I think I will have a Cranium evening later in the summer that will be a little more low-key...

Back to work tomorrow, with a French tour of grade 11 and 12 students. Worse luck...

Friday, June 04, 2004

on the election trail...


Stephen Harper, leader of the new Conservative Party of Canada, may or may not have blown his chances for election this week...Abortion is always a sticky subject, regardless of where you live, and it seems the Canadian Press want to make it an important issue in this election. The Globe and Mail offers an interesting take on it, as does this story from the CBC.

Harper has said that his government would not table abortion legislation; he has also said that his government would not table abortion legislation in its first term, which is a pretty important distinction to make. Now he has said that he would not object to a private member's bill to criminalize abortion, and would not force MPs to vote along party lines.

I was going to write something a little more rant-y about this, but I've lost my enthusiasm for doing so, and in closing, I will simply note that Paul Martin wants to offer $7/day daycare.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

you can buy my vote


I got my voter registration card from Elections Canada today. The election is coming up on June 28th, and I am grateful that this time there will be no repeats of the "from my cold, dead hands" debacle of the last provincial election. It's interesting because I'm now in a different electoral district than I originally assumed I was; which is a different one from virtually everyone I work with.

We only have three confirmed candidates in this riding so far...none of which I want to vote for. The Christian Heritage Party just rubs me the wrong way...when you click on Party Platform, you somehow end up at a page that gives you seven reasons why you should vote for the CHP...which, last I checked, was NOT a platform.

Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

please, please explain to me


Spending quality time with the computer is always a good thing. I'm hoping that soon I will be able to purchase another ethernet cord so that I am not always at the mercy of other people with whom I share the internet connection. We all know how much I like my internet.

The Squidge started a new blog she wants to call "The Life of Chai" which is a wonderific title.

My blogging has been really flat as of late, and I apologize for that. Work is keeping me quite busy (in a variety of different ways--mostly social) and I am thankful that I will be getting a full paycheque tomorrow.

The girls are taking me shopping on Sunday.

Monday, May 31, 2004

what a wonderful world?


What a busy but mostly wonderful week. Work is absolutely frantic right now; I don't think we've been this busy since the first year I did spring/summer...Some days we have three pages of tours, which is absolutely terrifying.

Kristabelle and I had a fabulous weekend, we visited the Build A Bear and THSWSNBN and its Sister Site. So good to see her, but so sad to see her go. It will be very difficult to live without her next year.

I am participating in a D20 based RPG campaign entitled "The Grimoire" which thus far is shaping up to be quite a lot of fun.

The election campaign is afoot in Canada, which has brought my beloved Trevor home for a brief time period; creating much chaos. (The election, not Trevor.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

strange magic


Strange (but wondrous) things are afoot at THWSNBN. I porbably shouldn't comment too much here, but my summer has taken a turn for the better.

Monday, May 24, 2004

I have decided to destroy my body by my 23rd birthday


Not much new to report here, except that I have caught Lizzy's throat infection, because she is a giant nerf herder.

My hands are healing nicely, and now I have made it through two whole days without having to file an accident report at work. Work will be crazy busy this week, and thankfully being on tour should minimize my injury risk levels. I've got a tour almost every day, which is definitely random...thankfully none of them are in French, as mon francais is pretty rusty right now.

My weekend was pretty uneventful. I went to a party on Saturday night, and ended up leaving early, since both the boy and I were really tired...we were both in bed and asleep by eleven, I think. The rain here has been pretty crazy, but thankfully we have not been beset by tornados as of yet.

The little one painted with me today, her only condition being that we listen to her music. Unfortunately I am not so cool with JT when not intoxicated/in a club...but it is nice to spend time with her.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Kyle, that's telekinesis


I am no longer allowed to handle sharp objects at work. While carpenting yesterday, I slipped with a chisel and drove the chisel into my right thumbnail, and now there's a 3mm crack right in the center. It was very hurty. Today, while carving a piece of wood, my knife slipped off the wood and sliced into my left index finger across the first knuckle. It didn't hurt too much but it sure was bloody.

Things here are mostly good, though busy--I feel like I hardly have time to catch my breath in between one day and the next. I got a phone bill from North Bay today, and Bell is trying to charge me for May's service...even though I disconnected my phone on April 30th. And apparently their 24 hours customer service is a big fat lie, so I will have to phone tomorrow and get this straightened out, because I am not paying for services I'm not using.

It was our first payday today, and I am excited to be not broke. A bunch of us from work went out for supper and it ended up being a lot of fun. It's a really good group of people to work with, and I think I treasure that aspect of my job more than anything else. Where else could I have conversations about comic books (and the social relevance thereof), the supreme awesomeness of the White Stripes, some of the finickier points of historical interpretation, the history of the Bible's translation and interpretation, and the Masonic Bible?

Aside from my general incompetence with all tools, it was a good day.

And I get my Kristabelle back next week.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

I don't know why I didn't call


Today was a pretty good day. I got to see my family in the t-dot, which is good--some of them I haven't seen since Christmas 2002, and it was nice to spend some time with them. I also found my missing Norah Jones CD, in my dad's car. This seemed like a good thing until my mom realized I'd found it, because then we got to listen to it six times.

We went to the Build-a-Bear in Missassauga, which was way too much fun. We met my youngest cousin and my aunt there and he got a big black bear, because it reminded him of the movie Brother Bear.

I bought a bear, too--this one, to be exact. And then I dressed him like this. Oh yeah, he's totally a present for the boy.

quiz master


Via Greengrl and Esther:



I'm the limerick, mired in muck.
I refuse to be bored or get stuck.
   I like to offend,
   But not, in the end,
As much as to thwart expectations.
What Poetry Form Are You?


All too true, I'm afraid.

Saw Troy tonight. Terrible but fun at the same time. Saw preview for King Arthur movie, looks to be more of same--except that the delicious Ioan Gruffudd is Lancelot, which is a choice I cannot argue with. If you've never seen him as Horatio Hornblower, it comes highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

so many times I thought I'd call...


I'm getting run down by work already, which is a bad sign, since this is only my third week there. I probably shouldn't have come back this summer; I feel so completely incompetent all the time. I'm hoping that it's just an off couple of days and that I'll be feeling better soon. Work has been fairly steady these last few days, which is a definite improvement over opening day, and I have my first tour group tomorrow.

The interesting/crazy visitor brigade has started up again. Today's most interesting was from Holland, and had a good grasp of the English language. He compared the interactions of French and First Nations people (with specific regard to converting to Christianity) at our site to the current doings of Muslims in Europe. (Apparently they are trying to convert people to Islam.) He wanted to talk about how today we would consider this to be wrong, but it wasn't wrong in the seventeenth century, and how unfair it was. It also transformed into a conversation about the French ban on the hijab and other visible signs of religious belief. Interesting, but very random...especially since he was clearly looking for an argument, and I actually agreed with him, so there was no real discussion forthcoming.

I had more to write, but I should probably save it.

I guess that's why they call it the blues


this is a test post

Sunday, May 09, 2004

mittens? who eats their mittens?


I am currently connected to the internet via my spiffy spiffy router. I'm not entirely sure why, since I haven't properly installed the darned thing yeet, but if it's working, it's working, and I'm just not going to question that.

Hurray for time off. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do today, but I suspect I will not get done all that I wish to. Things I would like to do: laundry, cleaning/organizing my room, knitting, scrapbooking my trip to Scotland, getting mail ready to send out tomorrow, some writing, painting, and so on.

Yesterday was our first day open at work, and it was busier than I thought it would be, although still painfully slow at times. Considering that a good chunk of our literature says that we don't open until May 2-4, and that it was a cold, damp day, we did pretty well. I got to do the admissions thing, and somehow managed to snag to the only two French groups of the day in the course of doing so.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

chill factor


Today was long. We did a Survivor-style activity challenge this morning for team building purposes, and my team did not win (though we should have, but that's another story). I got to learn the admissions program so that I can cover the desk during lunches and breaks. There was a small thunderstorm, and the power went out a couple of times. Sadly, that was one of the more exciting parts of the day.

Last night was fun, though. One of the crew from work is writing an RPG, and I've agreed to participate in it, which is horribly geeky but also shaping up to be a lot of fun, or at the very least a chance to get to know new people. A couple of us went for coffee and shenanigans, and really it was just good to be with people who aren't so familiar with me that they can finish my sentences most of the time.**

I am working on an ambitious knitting project that thus far is going quite well. It almost made watching the Friends finale bearable. But not quite, 'cause, well, it was pretty brutal.

I say the word "wicked" way too much; I think it was originally popular when I wasin grade six or something, which makes me officially lame.

**I am actually really bad for doing this--even with people I don't know. It's part of my social ineptitude.